Books & Literature

Book Review: Let’s Build a House, by Mike Lucas, illustrated by Daron Parton

PICTURE BOOK: A step-by-step look at how a house is constructed by real-life engineer Mike Lucas and gorgeously illustrated by Daron Parton.

A perfect book for budding engineers and those children interested in working in the building trade, or for those who just like to build.

Born in the UK, but having moved to Adelaide in 2010, Mike Lucas works as an engineer in addition to owning a bookshop. Somehow, he manages to also write books in his spare time. His first book, Olivia’s Voice, was a Notable in the 2018 CBCA Awards. He also wrote Vanishing

Lucas has used his knowledge of the building industry to write Let’s Build a House, a picture book perfect for all those budding engineers and builders. 

Let’s Build a House is a step-by-step look at how a house is built. On every double page, the illustrations by Daron Parton tell the story of each step needed to get the job done. Accompanying the delightfully colourful and detailed illustrations is the text by Lucas, written in a box with three rhyming lines explaining each step. Adding to the text are three words placed on the illustrations about what is happening:

“Let’s build a house,

First the floor, and then the walls,

then the roof. Let’s build it all. 

You and me – we’ll build it all. 

Up, up, up.”

These three layers of the story allow it to be accessed by children of different ages. The pictures are interesting enough to engage the very young and the three descriptive words would be all that is needed to help them enjoy the story. As the child gets older, the main text can be read, understood and probably memorised.

Most of the trades working on a building site are mentioned, like carpenters, brickies, plumbers, glaziers, painters, and more.

There is a lot to talk about on each page, from the tools used to the jobs the workers are doing. The child and father are also seen either helping or watching what is happening as the house is built. 

Let’s Build a House could be used in a classroom for technology/STEAM and would make an excellent addition to any library.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

Distributed by: Hatchette Australia
Released: 28 April 2021
RRP: $24.99

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